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Climate Science Coalition: NIWA drops science for propaganda

7 December 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NIWA drops science for propaganda

NIWA has great difficulty distinguishing science from propaganda, according to Hon Barry Brill, chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

“NIWA principal Scientist, Dr James Renwick, has issued a media release as follows:

After a small downturn in 2009, greenhouse gas emissions have bounced back in 2010, continuing the upwards trend seen in the last decade. The extra carbon dioxide will be in the atmosphere for centuries, and sea levels look set to keep rising for a thousand years or more. The sooner the global community seriously tackles this issue, the better. Let's hope Cancun delivers a positive outcome.’”

Mr Brill says NIWA has the important role of offering objective technical advice to the Government on the many complex issues that arise in climate science. It has no role in either policy-making or the propagation of political decisions.

“New Zealand takes pride in maintaining a fairly rigid separation between its neutral public service and the sphere of political debate. Public servants do not comment on controversial political issues, especially when acting in the capacity of Government officials.

“It seems that Dr Renwick has such strong personal feelings about so-called global warming that he is unable to accept such conventional constraints. Cheerleading for political outcomes is a higher priority.

“But his statement about sea levels is not even science,” Mr Brill continues.

“The IPCC has repeatedly stated that its climate models make no attempt to predict the future, and merely explore ‘what-ifs or ‘scenarios’. But even those scenarios are based on reasonable possibilities, and certainly don’t attempt to describe how the world might function next century. Dr Renwick’s imagination soars as far as the next millennium!

“A thousand-year duration of sea level change is bad enough. But Dr Renwick can’t even get his direction right. Sea levels are currently falling around New Zealand, and the rate of rise globally is dropping significantly. Satellite altimeter data indicates a decrease in rate (about 2.8 mm/y).

”Tide gauges indicate a current decrease of around 1.4 mm/y and –1.2 mm/y since about 2002. GRACE gravitational data indicates a decrease (about 1 mm/y since 2003) - and falling sea levels in areas experiencing the most ‘ice melt’.

”Many leading climate scientists think it more likely that sea levels will fall over the next few decades. But, as scientists, they don’t issue statements fantasising about ‘a thousand years or more’.

“How can anyone now believe that NIWA’s climate science guesses are either objective or credible?” Mr Brill concludes.

ENDS

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